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Skylight Installation Cost

Skylight Installation Cost

National average
$1,500
(medium-sized ventilated skylight with vinyl frame, plastic coating, flashing included)
Low: $650

(small skylight with aluminum frame, plastic coating, flashing included)

High: $3,800

(large, double-plated glass ventilated skylight, vinyl frame, added flashing)

Cost to install a skylight varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from skylight specialists in your city.

The average cost to install a skylight is $1,500.

In this guide

Cost Factors
Types of Skylights
Framing Materials
Glass vs. Plastic Skylights
Energy Efficiency
Size
Curb vs. Deck-mounted Skylights
Design
Brands
Labor
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Additional Considerations and Costs
FAQ

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Skylight?

Skylights can add a lot to a home. They’re aesthetically pleasing and increase exposure to natural light. As a result of the light, they also create an illusion of space and make rooms seem larger than they actually are. Indoor plants that need a lot of sunlight can thrive more easily in a room with a skylight.

To install a skylight, a specialist will have to cut a hole into the roof and ceiling, fit the skylight into the new space, and then seal it into place. Between the cost of the skylight itself and the installation process, the average skylight installation costs between $800 and $2,500, with the average customer paying $1,500 for a medium-sized ventilated skylight with vinyl 1 frame, plastic coating, flashing 2 included

Skylight Installation

Skylight installation costs
National average cost$1,500
Average range$800-$2,500
Minimum cost$650
Maximum cost$3,800

Cost Factors

Several factors will determine the cost of your skylight installation. First of all, skylights come in different size options. Obviously, the bigger the skylight is, the more it’s going to cost. For example, a quality skylight at 22 ½ can cost roughly $170. A comparable skylight at 46 ½”x46 ½” can cost closer to $600.

After size, consider flashing as a possible cost increase. Flashing seals away condensation, and depending on your skylight’s location, it may need that flashing. Some skylights come pre-equipped with flashing, but others don’t.

Next, the type of mount impacts skylight pricing. There are two main ways to mount a skylight: curb (mounted) or deck (flush). Some skylights can be installed flush with your roof. Those are called flush skylights or deck skylights. Alternatively, curb skylights are built on top of a frame or mount. Curb and deck skylights have comparable prices, but the real cost consideration comes from installation. It’s easier for installers to add a mounted skylight to an existing roof. For a deck skylight, you’ll likely pay more in labor costs. If you have metal or tile roofing, that will also drive up your labor costs because cutting into these materials can be difficult.

Types of Skylights

There are three main categories of skylight: fixed, ventilated, and tubular.

Fixed Skylights

Fixed skylights are the simplest type, with a cost range of $150-$1,000. These skylights simply provide extra light to a room. They don’t open or close in any way. Being the simple choice, they’re good for first time skylight buyers, and they’re relatively inexpensive. Consider your home’s location before you buy a fixed skylight. Because they don’t have ventilation options, fixed skylights can trap heat inside your home. That’s not a bad thing during the winter months, but if you live in an area that gets especially hot during the summer, you may want to consider a ventilated skylight instead.

Ventilated Skylights

Ventilated skylights, as you’ve probably guessed, provide ventilation. They cost anywhere from $150 to $2,000, with electric and solar-powered models leaning toward the more expensive side. With ventilation, you can release any heat that gets trapped underneath your skylight. A vented skylight can also let spring breezes into the house when the weather permits.

Vented skylights come in a few choices. Manual vented skylights open and close just like a regular window, which is why they’re sometimes called tilt window skylights. The electric versions of vented skylights open and close via remote control. There are even solar-powered vented skylights that use sunlight to recharge their batteries.

If you’re thinking about a ventilated skylight, you’ll have to weigh a lot of pros and cons. First of all, vented skylights are more expensive than fixed skylights. A manual vented skylight will likely cost roughly $500. An electric version can cost around $1400. The average solar-powered model, meanwhile, will cost close to $1,500. Second, each variation comes with different factors that you should consider. For example, a tilt window skylight will work best on lower ceilings that allow you to reach the vent. Electric skylights will work at any height, but they require wiring installation, and you’ll need to hire an electrician for that. Electricians charge between $65 and $85 per hour.

Tubular Skylights

These aren’t skylights in the traditional sense, but they do bring extra sunlight into the home. Tubular skylights cost between $150 and $600. From the inside of the home, tubular skylights look just like brighter versions of ordinary lights. Tubular skylights get their light from tubes that are installed on the roof. These tubes direct light into the house via reflective piping.

Tubular skylights are inexpensive because they require fewer materials and less labor. As a matter of fact, the simplest tubular lights can be installed in as little as two hours. That said, tubular skylights don’t provide a view of the sky, which is the primary draw of installing a skylight. They also don’t work well for large spaces that require a lot of light. They’re small, and unlike ordinary electric lights, they don’t provide light after sundown. However, they do make a good choice for closets, bathrooms, and utility areas that don’t get much use at night. By using sunlight instead of electricity for these spaces, homeowners can save money on their electric bills. Plus, tubular skylights are inexpensive themselves, with average models costing about $300.

Framing Materials

Skylights come with several frame options, too. You can get a skylight made from vinyl, wood, metal, or a mixture of materials. Vinyl is a common choice because it seals away moisture well and lasts for a long time. It's also easy to produce and very common, being the same material that many window-makers use for their products. As a result, you won’t struggle to find a skylight with a vinyl frame. Next, there are wooden frames. Wood provides a more natural look than other options, but it doesn’t last as long as vinyl and is more prone to leakage and weathering. A wood-framed skylight may not last as long as a skylight built with other materials. Metal works well for those who want a contemporary look, but metal also heats quickly, which can add a level of discomfort to homes that experience hot summers.

Glass vs. Plastic Skylights

The main skylight screen can be made of different materials, mainly glass or plastic. You will need to take into account several considerations when trying to choose between different kinds of glass and plastic screens.

TypeProsCons

Acrylic plastic

($150-$500)

Common choice; easy to find

Break-resistant

Inexpensive

Lets in more light compared to glass

No UV protection on its own

Tempered glass

($150-$1,300)

Stronger than regular glass

Usually only one layer

Susceptible to shattering if part of the glass gets damaged

Does not resist breakage better than acrylic plastic

Double pane glass

($300-$3,500)

Insulated against weather and noise

Can make homes more energy-efficient compared to single pane glass

May need to be replaced if glass becomes foggy


Energy Efficiency

When considering skylights, think about your energy efficiency options. In the right circumstances, skylights can help homeowners save money on their energy bills. Since heat rises, vented skylights can give summer heat a way to escape when it gets stuck indoors. Furthermore, the light provided by a skylight can bring more heat into the home during the winter.

If you’re wondering if there’s any way to maximize the winter efficiency while minimizing the summer heat production, the answer is yes, absolutely. First, you can look for energy efficient products. You can start by looking for a seal of approval from either Energy Star or the National Fenestration Rating Council. Energy Star is concerned with energy-efficient options for all kinds of home products, and the NFRC focuses specifically on windows and similar products.

You can also improve your skylight’s energy efficiency by placing it in the right location. For example, a north-facing skylight won’t invite too much heat into your house during sunrises and sunsets. Additionally, it’s essential that your skylight has proper insulation and is installed with a tight seal to avoid letting air escape from the house. You might consider certain enhancements that will make your skylight more energy efficient. You saw solar-powered skylights mentioned above, for example. There are also options for tinting and blinds. Blinds add between $200 and $400 to the project. Low-e coating protects your skylight and your home from UV light, which makes it a good choice for acrylic skylights. This coating usually adds about $15 per sq. ft. of window space.

Size

Obviously, you’ll need to think about the size of your skylight. First, you should measure the size of the skylight that you want installed.

Most experts recommend 1 sq. ft. of skylight per 20 feet of flooring. If the room has windows, the skylight should take up no more than 5% of the flooring space. If the room doesn’t have windows or or only has a few windows, then it should take up no more than 15%.

Typical sizes for a rectangular skylight span from 14 inches up to 72 inches. A tubular skylight is usually no larger than 22 inches in diameter. The cost for a 14 inch fixed rectangular skylight installed with no customizations is $650 with installation, while a 72 inch skylight of the same type would be about $1,000.

Curb vs. Deck-mounted Skylights

You saw curb-mounted and deck-mounted skylights described above. Remember that curb-mounted skylights are mounted on top of a frame, while deck-mounted skylights are installed flush with your roof. Some people prefer the curb appeal of deck-mounted skylights because curb-mounted skylights are more noticeable from the street. Others prefer the extra indoor space that curb-mounted skylights provide. There’s not too much of a cost difference in these skylights themselves. A fixed, 22”x45” deck mounted skylight can cost roughly $280 before installation, while the same sized skylight with a curb mount is about $265. Again, however, consider the installation costs. Adding a deck-mounted skylight to an existing home takes longer than adding a curb-mounted skylight to the home, so the installation process will cost more.

Design

You have a few design choices as well. Before doing measurements, take some time to explore your skylight design choices.

  • Shape. Most standard skylights are rectangular, which makes sense because they fit aesthetically with nearly any room. However, other shape options include square, oval, circular, diamond, multi-sided, and triangular. When it comes to pricing, the shape of your skylight is less important than the size and the type of materials used.
  • Glass slope. Skylights usually have flat glass inserted into a frame, but you might also find pyramid, domed, or even warped shapes. The slope of the glass may impact the price of your skylight, but only slightly. For example, a 2’x2’ flat skylight from Sunoptics costs roughly $138, while the pyramid version of the same skylight only costs a dollar more. The installation of these skylights should take the same amount of time for either choice, so the slope won’t impact your labor costs.
  • Color. For the color of your skylight’s frame, the most common options are neutrals such as white, gray, cream, and brown.
  • Customization. If customization is important to you, you can work with skylight builders and installers to create your ideal shape and size. Keep in mind that customization will make your skylight more expensive. Adding customized color finishes, for instance, can add about $200 to your costs.

Brands

There aren’t too many skylight brand options because a few major brands dominate the market. The most common brand for glass skylights is Velux, which is often the go-to source for skylight needs. Velux is the top-rated brand with a reputation for quality products. Fakro is the other major glass brand. While it doesn’t dominate as much of the market as Velux does, Fakro does make sturdy, reliable, quality products. These two brands are generally used for home skylights.

For commercial skylights, most people choose either Bristolite or Wasco. These are usually plastic skylights. They’re not as well-known among homeowners as the other two brands, but they do make good products and you might consider these options if you’d rather have an acrylic skylight than a glass one.

Labor

The skylight installation process has an exterior phase and an interior phase. During the exterior phase, the installer will measure and cut a hole into the roof. Then, the installer will fit the skylight into the hole and install any added exterior components, such as flashing. During the interior phase, the installer will fit the skylight’s interior pieces into place. The amount of time the installer will need for this process depends on the complexity of the project, the shape and slope of your roof, and the type of roof tiles you have. A project with an average roof slope, small skylight, and no complications can take as little as four hours from start to finish. A larger or more labor-intensive skylight installation can take closer to three days.

The cost of labor for this time will depend on the type of company that you hire. Skylights can be installed by roofers, carpenters, and window specialists, though not all of these companies provide skylight installation. Among those who do install skylights, roofers charge $45-$75 per hour, while carpenters charge about $70 per hour, and window installers charge about $40-$50 per hour.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Electric Shades

One thing you can do to enhance your skylight is add electric shades that you can control with a remote. These shades can be lowered to block light during the hottest parts of the day. They cost, on average, about $400.

Additional Considerations and Costs

Don’t let extra costs catch you off guard. Here are some other fees and considerations that you should take into account.

  • Permits. Many cities require property owners to get a permit before they can have a skylight installed. Permit fees can start around $30, but they may go up depending on the complexity of the project.
  • Cleanup. The cleanup process should be included in the labor costs. Most installers lay plastic sheeting down before they start doing interior work on skylights to protect your home from dust. If you’d like to hire a cleanup service instead, a house cleaning service may provide what you need for $100-$150.
  • Insulation and waterproofing. Flashing can insulate your skylight and protect your home from water. Most skylights come with flashing included in the price.
  • Leakage. A skylight shouldn’t leak if it’s been properly installed. However, if you have a particularly old skylight or if the glass gets broken, you may notice leakage. In that case, you can have your skylight repaired.
  • Skylight vs. solar tube lighting. If you want a view of the sky and a chance to get more light exposure, then a skylight makes an excellent choice. However, if your primary goal is using solar lights to save electricity, consider choosing a solar tube instead, which directs natural light into the home through a reflective tubing system. Solar tubes cost between $550 and $700.
  • Placement. You’ll want to put a lot of thought into your skylight’s placement. Talk to your installer about the ideal placement. The installer will offer advice in light of your roof slope, the size of the skylight, and more.
  • Path of the sun. Light brings heat, so think about the path of the sun. Skylights installed in high-sun areas will bring in more heat than a regular window.
  • Belongings. Be sure to move furniture, potted plants, and other belongings well out of harm’s way during the installation process.

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to have a skylight installed?

Installing a medium-sized ventilated skylight with vinyl frame, plastic coating, flashing included, and a 1-2 day installation process averages $1,500.

  • Do roofers install skylights?

Some roofers do install skylights, but not all of them do. Look for roofers, carpenters, and window and door specialists when looking for someone to install your skylight. Roofers charge between $45 and $75 per hour.

  • Do skylights add value to your home?

Skylights can add value to your home, especially when buyers are interested in this feature. However, it does depend on the housing market at the time when you decide to sell your house.

  • Do skylights make a difference?

In terms of adding natural light to a home, skylights make a big difference, especially if they face east or west. Because they’re installed into roofs, skylights allow in more sunlight than regular windows.

  • Do all skylights leak?

No, but some skylights do leak eventually due to age and/or damage. Flashing can prevent skylight leakage. Additionally, some skylights gather condensation that eventually evaporates without any issues. Pay attention to your skylight for signs of leakage as it ages.

  • Do skylights make a room hot?

They can make a room hot. You can reduce the potential heat by having blinds installed or by installing your skylight in a low-sun area.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Vinyl 1 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others
glossary term picture Flashing 2 Flashing: Pieces of sheet metal used on roofs to cover joints, such as where the roof meets the wall, or around a chimney or skylight, to protect them and prevent water leaking through

Cost to install a skylight varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Attic with fixed skylights

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Ann Arbor, MI
+13%
Athens, GA
-9%
Austin, TX
+13%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Bradenton, FL
-8%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Cary, NC
-5%
Chattanooga, TN
+1%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbia, SC
-10%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Deltona, FL
-23%
Edmond, OK
-8%
Erie, PA
-17%
Folsom, CA
+6%
Fort Myers, FL
-7%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Henderson, NV
+10%
Houston, TX
+24%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Keller, TX
+20%
Kingsport, TN
-8%
Leesburg, FL
-7%
Lexington, KY
+1%
Livonia, MI
+16%
Maineville, OH
-18%
Maricopa, AZ
-2%
Merced, CA
-25%
Methuen, MA
+19%
Newark, NJ
+27%
Norman, OK
-21%
Parker, CO
+3%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Plano, TX
+24%
Prescott, AZ
-15%
Pueblo, CO
-18%
Redmond, OR
-14%
Round Rock, TX
-5%
San Francisco, CA
+53%
San Ramon, CA
+35%
Sunnyvale, CA
+31%
Surprise, AZ
-2%
Toledo, OH
+9%
Torrance, CA
+12%
Tucson, AZ
-19%
West Palm Beach, FL
-2%
Yuma, AZ
-39%
Labor cost in your zip code
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